Monday, October 02, 2006

Internal Clashes..

How bad is it going to be? Where is this heading?
First, I would like to identify some of the major (obvious) players.
Hamas new force that was established few months ago under the Ministry of Interior.
All others: Fatah (old gov) security forces.
Both have tons of weapons
Both claim that they don't have money

It has been like that since the beginning of the demonstrations in the streets that struck the Palestinian streets after 4 months of not paying the public employees

The Whole structure of the Palestinian government (Ministries, Security forces...Etc.) is based on the majority of Fatah. Fatah was not explicitly known for discriminating when hiring its employees, however, it was very corrupt with whoever is there.
Hamas, since elected, wants to prove its being, and so, started adding to the public employees hundreds of pure Hamas members. Although, there is no money to pay the old or the new ones.

The problem has many factors:
1- Hamas is now taking the bigger positions in the institutions of course because it is elected to govern. Almost everyone down the pyramid is fatah, or got closer to fatah because of the salary issue. When i visited a couple of ministries, one like Ministry of Education, i know several employees there, they haven't been involved in political affiliations, but now it seemed much clearer that they simply "Hate" Hamas. A head of a department there said to me: " Things are getting worse and worse, I used to have several projects at the same time for the schools from donors all over the world. Today, I can barely find a pen and paper to work in the office, and I am in a ministry of education".
2- The concentration of Fatah members in the security forces, and their varying relationships with the "Al Aqsa Brigades" and all the other smaller ones, have been intensifying this tensions. Fatah members became party members in their profession rather than being policemen or security guards or whatever. Thus, the latest interesting turning point here in Gaza, was that the police and the presidential forces and all the others, (they are 17 type, by the way) were the ones who closed the streets the day before yesterday and blocking the traffic because they were demonstrating against the government! So what is this called exactly? Mahmoud Abbas criticized this in Al-Jazeera interview three days ago. even the demonstrations have been so obviously divided among the Fatah(s) and Hamas(s) to the extent that Hamas started arresting those who don't "obey" and who don't go to do their job instead of striking, and Fatah is forcing the employees out. if you go to the people who are not directly affiliated with anyone you would notice that it is not that organized as a real mobilzed movement that comes from within the peoples' beliefs. The other fact is that, right after any big demonstration a partial payment is suddenly paid and people start running at the ATM machines! So, to an extent it is working, even the way it is done, by using people, fighting, and creating just chaos in the streets, it gets the money out of the PA box! So why not then keep doing this again and again?
4- There is a historical hatred, I mean the word Hatred between Hamas and Fatah. I have always wondered about this, but it is true. Since I was in undergraduate in Ramallah, Fatah used to say in the elections " we can deal with the devil but not Hamas" Hamas on the other hand, they dislike everyone. But this dislike grown along with he previous positions that the PA (Fatah) at Arafat's time against Hamas. Many argue that Arafat was keeping things balanced and he used to be "good" to all, it is true but it was a very temporary solution that was just building up towards more tension between the two. On the other had, the small leftist parties, were mostly closer to Hamas politically (Only) because they shared the disagreement with the peace process and the Oslo agreement in particular.
Ok..Back to what is going on here...
Yesterday , I leave the house at 8:30 going to my volunteering missions... And I see a bigger group of armed men at the square near the house. It is a relatively big square that connects 5 streets. I see some in blue and others in black..It was confusing..! I see big beards and ones without. So I ask what is going today? I was told that the Minister of Interior (Hamas) gave orders to the force (3000 executive force from Hamas) to spread around the Gaza strip..Especially the intersections. Normally, the ones who stand at the square are the President's (Abaas) forces, just because the square is very close to the president's office and his house. The image was pleasant as we drove by. The two were talking and smiling...(ones in black and ones in Blue).
At about 13:00 pm. My husband calls, and tells me not et near the house.
Gaza turned into a big confrontation zone with fairly sophisticated kinds of weapons. Especially our square, that is usually the most "peaceful" one had the most intense clashes.
I had to stay at my mom's house, where the Israeli artillery is ! was safer.
i came back home at night..The area was extremely dark, I had to literarlly get out of the car and let the driver run before we are caught under the fire of ours.....

Now...9 funerals will take place. I hear them on the microphones...I don't know what their cause it anymore...Either for Hamas or Fatah. 100 were injured. 9 were killed. And funerals are usually expected to result in clashes.


natan said...

Naj, like you've mentioned in your previous posts it's not about Israel anymore but about hunger for power. One can say if they can't live peacefuly with each other how it's possible to come with agreements to recognize another state.

Naj said...

i think you should understand the background. Israel is the reason why we are here now. and why palestinians are becoming more agr\gressive and more irrational. Israel has done so much to let this happen over the years..especially in Gaza. Pple should learn what kind of life you get in Gaza....and it has been like that for ever.
Please try as much as yuou can to see the big picture. things should be also put in perspective.
Thanks for participating ..:)

bilal said...


I was thinking the other day how nice it would be to have you and Sami i'm anxiously anticipation your return. Its getting too dangerous there. But, i understand that your views on living in this situation are mixed. As far as other people's "analysis" and comments on the situation, its really to complication for anyone to write about. Sami did a good job in his article, but who can really express what the Palestinians deal with? I dunno. Be safe.

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